Obama-era economic policy comes to a close

With Friday's passage of a government funding bill and a $680 billion tax break package, this week saw the end of an era in fiscal and monetary policy. Finished are the massive clashes between President Obama and congressional Republicans over government spending and taxation.

Gone, too, are the emergency monetary policy measures that the Federal Reserve implemented during the financial crisis. Those came to a close Wednesday, when the central bank announced that it would raise its interest rate target a quarter-point from zero, where it had been for all of Obama's tenure.

In effect, this week saw the end of several of the economic storylines that have defined Obama's presidency. Lawmakers and economists this week were already looking forward to 2017, when the next president and Congress will take office.

After showdowns over the Bush tax cuts in 2010, the debt ceiling in 2011 and 2013, and the so-called "fiscal cliff," further skirmishes are not expected during Obama's last year in office. Congress will have to authorize individual spending bills for fiscal 2017 before October 1. Leaders in both parties say they want to pass appropriations bills through regular order next year.

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